Whiskers are one of the trademarks of cats and make our furry pets even cuter.
But whiskers aren’t there just for looks – they are very important for cats, as they serve as their ultimate sensory tool, allowing them to send messages to the brain about your cat’s surroundings.
Recently a friend of mine contacted me a little bit concerned about her cat’s whiskers. She noticed that they are black now, and she swears they used to be white. How is this possible?
Do cats with black whiskers exist? Yes, they do. Some cats might have darker whiskers for their entire life, but it’s possible for whiskers to change color at some point in a cat’s life.
Let’s find out a bit more about black whiskers in cats.
What Is The Standard Color Of The Cats’ Whiskers?
Most cats have white whiskers.
April Holladay points out how domestic cats can come in a variety of colors, such as orange, white, black, cream, brown, etc. But, this doesn’t mean that their whiskers are necessarily the same color as their fur.
Thick hair, such as the cat’s whiskers, doesn’t usually retain melanin, which is a substance responsible for skin and hair color, according to Amy Aitman.
So, the whiskers initially do receive melanin, but they seem to lose it over time.
This is why you’ll usually see white whiskers on felines. However, it’s still possible to see some of them with black-colored whiskers. For example, the video below shows an adorable cat that has white whiskers, with a couple of black hairs, too!
Do Any Cats Naturally Have Black Whiskers?
Black whiskers are most likely to be seen in felines with black coats, like in the Bombay cat.
But, this doesn’t have to be the case – since most cats will still have white whiskers, no matter the color of their fur.
It might be hard to see the exact color of a cat’s whiskers while observing her completely black coat.
Can A Cat’s Whiskers Become Black Later In Life?
A lot of things happen when a cat starts to get old. Some owners might think that their cats are not acting normally, but remember that people go through many changes in their advanced age, too.
Jan Bellows and his associates  explain how some of the most important changes in senior cats are the following:
• Behavioral changes, such as reduced stress tolerance, altered sleep cycle, altered vocalization, changes in a cat’s interaction with family members, and other pets
• Daily functional changes, like decreased mobility and vision deterioration
• Appearance changes, such as decreased skin elasticity and thickened nails
Can a cat’s whiskers also change as she gets older? Yes, they can, and most cat parents will notice this like a change in the whiskers’ color!
So, black whiskers on a cat that seems to have appeared out of nowhere don’t have to mean that there is something wrong with her.
Maybe your cat is just getting older. A change in the whiskers’ color happened because cats lose melanin in their hair over the years.
Most cats have white whiskers, although it’s possible for some of them to have black ones, especially those felines with darker-colored coats.
But, it’s also possible for a cat’s whiskers to become black later in their life. Is this a reason to be concerned? No, not really.
This usually just means your cat is getting older, and, since whiskers don’t seem to be able to retain melanin, they might change color.
It’s a good thing to check whether any change in your cat’s body could be something to worry about.
But, in the case of your cat’s black whiskers – this is a completely cosmetic thing, and nothing that indicates something is wrong with your kitten.
Would you like to know some more interesting information about these amazing hairs that are so important for your pet? You can start by learning how many whiskers cats felines have. See you there!
 Bellows J, Center S, Daristotle L, et al. Aging in cats: Common physical and functional changes. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2016;18(7):533-550. DOI, Retrieved June 02, 2023.
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